Any time a major celebrity dies, especially in an unexpected manner, this creates a rush for memorabilia and such is the case with Michael Jackson. In this buyer’s guide we’ll take a look at what Michael Jackson items will hold value over the long term and which items to avoid.
Guide continued below…
While my personal musical taste doesn’t put Michael Jackson on the same level as Elvis, his pop icon status has already created quite a ‘gold rush’ to cash in on his death since he had so many fans even the wake of his molestation trial and general weirdness. Overall, I think his eccentric lifestyle may weaken his legacy some but there will be a strong market for a while. In the long term, the question is if his memorabilia will be marketed with the vigor that Elvis memorabilia has been over the years.
One of the hottest items so far have been Michael Jackson domain names. As anyone who knows how Google likes to rank sites in search results understands, domain names that exactly match search terms get a big bonus. These are really short term, opportunistic, items. While they may make short term money, long term they’re likely to be the subject of trademark and copyright lawsuits from the Jackson estate, no fun at all.
Of course, everyone and their sister’s brother’s cousin is printing up Michael Jackson T-shirts, posters and buttons. Will these have any long term collectible value? No, not really. There are so many of them out on the market now that only something really unique will stand out. Buy one if you want to salute Jacko’s life but don’t buy them to be collectibles.
What about Michael Jackson action figures and bobbleheads? Same thing, everybody has one and the market is saturated with them. While some of these might have a little better long term prospects, I wouldn’t bet on it. Also remember that people who’re selling these items may encounter legal trouble too unless they’re officially licensed prior to Jackson’s death.
What about Michael Jackson record albums, CD’s and the like? Unless they were special before his death, I don’t see them holding much more value now. There may be a temporary boost in the price of the more collectible items but I’d recommend selling now rather than holding for the long term.
So, what Michael Jackson memorabilia might be worthwhile to own? Your best bets are items with proven authenticity, aka provenance, that have a direct connection with the singer. Perhaps the biggest one is Neverland Ranch but good luck getting ahold of that! Of course, authentic items from the ranch might have some value if provenance and legal ownership can be established. Other items with a direct connection to Mr. Jackson that can be proven will also have long term value.
For ordinary folks of ordinary means and luck, items like original concert merch, concert ticket stubs or intact tickets for Michael Jackson concerts may be good. Those who hold tickets to his London show that he was rehearsing for should be able to do well with them. Items from his 80’s concert tours when he was in his prime may also be of good long term value.
If you’re thinking about buying Michael Jackson memorabilia right now make sure that you look for real deals on real stuff that are being sold by reputable sellers. Just don’t get caught up in the gold rush mentality and spend a lot of money for junk.